Essay about Critical Path Analysis: Its Use and Limitations

1563 Words May 25th, 2013 7 Pages
Consider critical analysis as a project planning tool. Can you think of circumstances in which this would not be a good tool to use on a project?

Introduction As firms begin to realize the need to improve on their project management capabilities, many companies and software developers have charged to fill this need by offering tools and techniques for a variety of projects. Some are tools for portfolio management, and some focus on particular disciplines within the project management field. Tools for resource planning, task and time management, communications management, resource allocation, or other project needs abound. Being a mature academic and practical course, Project Management has developed many tools and methodologies to
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Shtub, Bard and Globerson (2005:381) reiterate preparation and use of the tool requires a complete understanding of the project’s goals and structures. As most projects will have a number of stakeholders with different requirements, it must be assumed that a thorough knowledge and understanding of all these requirements are known and considered by the project manager in order to utilize a CPA approach. Moreover, considerable expertise is required in order to estimate the duration of each project task as performance and resource allocation are dependent on the accuracy of the same. While CPA is recognized as an important part of project management, projects which may not benefit from use of this tool are those where there is a requirement for high flexibility in project tasks and schedules. ‘Project Flexibility’ is described by Maylor, (2010:86) as the capability of a project to adjust to changes. As CPA assumes that activity times are ‘deterministic’ – having a predictable outcome as all of its causes are clear and rigid, it is unlikely that the CPA tool can easily take in many adjustments during the execution stage without jeopardizing the project. Since only parallel tasks are afforded time slack within the plan, a project may experience detrimental delays and spiralling costs should situations arise where the schedules are not met, or resources cannot be re-allocated to a later or

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